New Resource: A Food Co-op Business Plan Guide

Published April 4, 2018 by Food Co-op Initiative

As startups seek investors and loans, a solid business plan is essential. A Food Co-op Business Plan Guide (click to download) is a new tool to help startups build their own business plan. It allows them to express their vision while clearly communicating the information potential lenders and investors will understand. You can find it […]

USDA Announces New Local Food Promotion Program Grants

Published March 11, 2018 by Food Co-op Initiative

Often the criteria for the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) grant from the USDA shift a bit from year to year. FCI is always watching for the criteria release around this time so we can read it over and let you all know if start up food co-ops seem to fit the desired program criteria. […]

New! Real Estate Resource Guide

Published February 16, 2018 by Food Co-op Initiative

The new Real Estate Resource Guide is now available for free download. This guide seeks to clarify the tools and resources available for food co-ops to efficiently secure and develop the physical space needed for their store. The need to design and build an attractive building in a location that easily serves a growing shopper […]

Up & Coming food co-op conference Registration is Open

Published January 22, 2018 by Food Co-op Initiative

Up & Coming 2018 is sure to be our best startup gathering yet. Mark your calendar for March 16-17, 2018, with March 15 an optional day for tours and workshops. This is THE EVENT of the year for all retail food co-op startups. We encourage you to bring as many organizers as possible so you can fully participate […]

Up & Coming Conference Scholarship Deadline Monday, February 5

Published January 22, 2018 by Food Co-op Initiative

Note: 2/5/18: Up & Coming conference 2018 scholarship applications are due (via email only) has been extended to Friday, February 9, 2018. Notification letters will be sent on February 12, via email. Visit the conference website for conference agenda, location and logistics. Download the scholarship application here: 2018 scholarship application final.docx Questions? Contact Deb Trocha  […]

Howard Bowers Fund Spring 2018 Grants – Apply NOW

Published January 20, 2018 by Food Co-op Initiative

Attention food co-ops! It’s that time again! Applications for the first round of training and education grants from the Howard Bowers Fund are due February 15. Use this link to learn more about the grants and to make your application: http://ow.ly/O0Ur30hOYYR To learn more about the Howard Bowers Fund, and about past grant recipients, visit: […]

For California Co-op Startups

Published December 12, 2017 by Food Co-op Initiative

Save the Date! Join the California Center for Cooperative Development on April 29th and 30th for the 2018 California Co-op Conference. Registration will open in January.Visit the conference site for more information. FCI has presented at this annual event customized for California co-ops for many years. It provides some great local training options for startups […]

Cooperatives Cross Major Hurdle with Small Business Administration

Published December 1, 2017 by Food Co-op Initiative

As FCI reported in the November-December  2017 issue of Cooperative Grocer Magazine, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has opened its’ doors to working with startup cooperative businesses. This is exciting news as it makes several of the SBA resources available to co-ops now. There remains an obstacle  for cooperatives in meeting the requirement of […]

Small & Strong Co-op Conference, November 11, 2017

Published September 11, 2017 by Food Co-op Initiative

Startups and Small & Strong open co-ops in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin*  are invited to attend the Third Annual Small and Strong Conference, a one-day networking and training event for board and staff of Upper Midwest food co-ops with sales under $3 million. What:   This year’s theme is Preparing for Change:  Whether your co-op […]

Cooperatives and People of Color Conference

Published September 10, 2017 by Food Co-op Initiative

Friday, October 20, 2017 in Indianapolis, IN Co-ops have the potential to create jobs, empower individuals and strengthen communities.  This business model can provide a path toward more self-sufficiency and greater economic potential.  The conference will highlight the impact that African Americans, Hispanics, and Latinos have had on the cooperative movement in this country and showcase their successes […]